Canadian historical fiction is strangely rare, so when a good writer tackles it, it's reason to take notice. Gordon Henderson's new book, Man In The Shadows (HarperCollins, $19.99), goes back to the days before Confederation to tell the story of an assassination attempt on prime minister John A. Macdonald. There's tons of intrigue, both political - Irish republicans figure prominently - and sexual. Henderson launches the book at the Dora Keogh Wednesday (July 9). See listing.